Presentation on theme: "Presented at the 3 rd Manfred Lachs Conference on NewSpace Commercialization and The Law ICAO Headquarters Montreal,Canada March 17, 2015 Terrestrial Legal."— Presentation transcript:
Presented at the 3 rd Manfred Lachs Conference on NewSpace Commercialization and The Law ICAO Headquarters Montreal,Canada March 17, 2015 Terrestrial Legal Considerations in Asteroid and Space Mining Activity Law and Policy Development by Susan L. Willshire, JD
I. THE ASTEROID ACT: A STEP FORWARD II. THE SEARCH FOR GUIDING PRINCIPLES III. TERRESTRIAL LEGAL CONSIDERATIONS WITH PARALLELS TO SPACE IV. RECOMMENDATIONS Overview
Abstract As commercial enterprise seeks to move into space through various modes of commerce such as space tourism, space mining, and future space settlement, it is well-established that the legal regime is currently insufficient to accommodate the needs of emerging commercial efforts. In an effort to keep up, the United States recently proposed the Asteroid Act. This article shall further explore the gaps within the Asteroid Act, and examine sources of terrestrial law which may serve to fill those gaps, and other future needs. These include, but are not limited to Law of the Sea, terrestrial mining, oil and gas laws, and the laws governing Antarctica.
H.R. 5063, the ASTEROIDS Act “American Space Technology for Exploring Resource Opportunities in Deep Space” From the Act: This section directs the President to coordinate appropriate agencies to promote the development of a commercial asteroid industry, within the context of U.S. treaties. Specifically, it directs the President, through the FAA and other appropriate Federal agencies, to: 1. Facilitate the commercial exploration and utilization of asteroid resources to meet national needs; 2. Discourage government barriers to the development of safe and economically viable industries for exploration and utilization of asteroid resources, consistent with the Nation’s international obligations; 3. Promote the right of U.S. commercial entities to conduct these activities free of harmful interference and consistent with the Nation’s international obligations; and 4. Develop the frameworks necessary to meet the Nation’s international obligations. Hearing held September 10,2014, which provided immediate commentary, but also generated much external feedback. The Asteroids Act: A Step Forward 4
The Search for Guiding Principles An “unprecedented enterprise” “Private sector asteroid resource exploration and utilization is an unprecedented enterprise”- Dr. Joanne Gabrynowicz, hearing testimony. Potential sources of law from which guiding principles may be gleaned for this novel environment UN Convention of the Law of the Sea Mining Act of 1872 Article 2 of the Outer Space Treaty Other precedents in the oil and gas industry, Antarctica and exploration. The ASTEROIDS Act intent is to be a start “coordinate appropriate agencies” “develop the frameworks necessary” Brevity of the Act was acknowledged by numerous critics, cited as insufficient to regulate.
Parallels to consider particularly: 6 Increasing Complexity Former high seas doctrine was proving inadequate Threatened to “transform the oceans into another arena for conflict and instability” Disputes on the rise- Pioneering Investors New situations where existing legislation was unclear e.g. mining 6 PHASE 2 PHASE 3 PHASE 4 Phase 3 Right of access, control exploitation Relation to property rights UNCLOS has set structure Coastal Territorial EEZ (Exclusive Economic Zone) High seas Right to participate for inland “Common Heritage of Mankind” Unique Physical Attributes Islands Installations Structures Archipelagic States Protection of research Environmentally sensitive areas/conservation Impacts to a wider ecosystem Indirect impacts Capable of human habitation or “its own economic life” Rich mineral deposits( e.g. polymetallic nodules) Infrastructure/ Mechanism for Oversight UNCLOS “The Authority” Assembly Council Secretariat The Enterprise: a separate operational arm Centralized monetary authority Market control Registration requirements Dispute resolution Seabed Disputes Chamber
Principles to Adopt Recommendations 7 Innocent PassageAdministrative Oversight Sea Lanes Registration Requirements Freedom of Navigation Maintain legal/scientific subcommittee Freedom of Scientific ResearchEconomic Oversight Demarcations of Territory Equal Opportunity Concept of “Tiered Zones” Reward for Prospecting Investors Non-Interference Monitoring of Market Conditions Environmental Protection Shared Systemic Costs Due Notice, Maintenance and Removal if Abandoned for Structures Dispute Resolution Mechanisms Space Station/Refueling Depots rules similar to “artificial structures” Priority based upon chance of success and on investment
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